As ever, let me start with my “sorry for the delay” disclaimer! It’s weird to think that I’m now well over halfway through my trainee year! Not too long until I’ll be heading south for the autumn (and the next two years at least!). I’ve sorted out my leaving date, potentially somewhere to live, made contact with an agency, and saved up some cold, hard cash! So everything is in hand for the next phase!
Now things have calmed down a little, I’ll try and write more. I’ve made a start on doing my research project – I say a start, what that means is doing literature searches and going ‘How on earth do people collate all this into one document?!’ (Methinks I’ll be ringing my soon-to-be-doing-a-PhD social scientist brother on that one!) I’ve never written a document with that degree of synthesis in it: generally, with literature, you take one or two theorists/critics at a time as they become relevant, rather than doing a strategic overview of all the literature in the field! I imagine this is because if you tried to do a literature review of everything on, say, Henry James, it would be never-ending. Best to dive in and pick the bits that are relevant to you! (And also because literature isn’t always a particularly systematic endeavour, unless you go for word analytics and things. Feel free to argue with me on that point, haha!) Critical fields aside, though, it’s a totally new thing for me, but also a good thing: you only learn by doing!
I’ll also be doing some data analysis, which I am assured is Not Scary At All, but given how long it took and how methodical I had to be in counting shelves yesterday (there were 625), I’m still a little apprehensive! I am absolutely awful at maths, and when confronted with a sheet of numbers, they start to swim a little bit and it takes me a very long time to get to grips with things. I’m hoping that by playing more with numbers I’ll actually improve my numeracy – it’s something I’ve managed to put quite far down my list of priorities for a while, but I’m going to need to step it up!
I have a couple of pieces of proper blogging lined up for the near future, so there’ll be more in-depth things to read about what I’ve been doing: a piece about my traineeship for Library Trainee Network and hopefully a guest post about the work I’ve been doing for Special Collections here at Bradford. Exciting stuff!